October 2003

Overland Fire Update

By day's end the Overland Fire had scorched more than 5000 acres of land north of Boulder. As is typical in October in Colorado yesterday's 75 degree heat and gusty winds have given way to freezing drizzle and calm overcast skies. We should be set for a nice, traditional, snow just in time for the little goblins and ghosts to come a trick-or-treaking.

Overland Fire Update

Evacuations because of the Overland fire include:

Lefthand Canyon to US 36
Heil Canyon Ranch Area

Sheriff's deputies have swept the impacted areas making announcements over public address systems and invoked reverse 911.

Temporary shelter for those impacted by the fire has been setup at the Boulder County Fairgrounds on the west side of Longmont.

The fire started two days after a fire engine from Left Hand Canyon Fire Department was sent to battle the California infernos.

Overland Fire

The Overland Fire was discovered Wednesday morning in Lefthand Canyon near Boulder, Colorado. Hot dry winds have whipped the fire into a major blaze which is currently estimated at between 400 and 500 acres. Anyone interested in the complexities of running such an operation can listen to two of the Boulder County Sheriff's Office radio channels.

The red circle in the picture shows the spread of the smoke plume on Wednesday afternoon after the fire flared up to several hundred acres.

NCAR has a web cam that is taking in the view of the smoke north of Boulder.

Bad backlight

From some reading around the web there seems to be two sets of people having problems with backlighting on Powerbook keyboards. One group gets intermitent and inconsistent results. The other gets no results. The group with no results does not have the option to adjust settings in the Keyboard preference pane.

Please continue to hold

I discovered after the close of Apple's support last night that the Ambient Light Sensor isn't being recognized on my Powerbook. So far the "longer than 15 minutes" that I was to be on hold definately has been longer than 15 minutes. It wouldn't be so bad if the hold music wasn't so bad and if there wasn't an interruption every 20 seconds telling me to continue to hold making any attempt to listen to the music a problem as well. URG! Evidently they need to crank up thier Blue Pumpkin and get some folks scheduled.

It's now 1.5 hours since I called.


Groklaw has been covering the SCO vs. IBM lawsuit. In the latest rejoinder SCO claims that "The GPL violates the U.S. Constitution, together with copyright, antitrust and export control laws, and IBM's claims based thereon, or related thereto, are barred."

If I'm not mistaken SCO has been distributing Linux for some time now. I guess they are knowingly and willingly a participant in violating the Constitution, export control and antitrust laws. How much more culpable is a company who knowingly violates the laws.

Class Action Madness

The settlement for certain OS X users is the latest in many class action suits that rankle me. I'm not commenting on the merits or not of the suit. But as a user I'd get $25 back while the firms representing me would make $350,000 plus expenses. I understand there are many hours in a case like this. 1000 hours - half a working year - possibly. That would make the rate $350 an hour plus expenses.

Perhaps the people in the class should start a revolt. Excluding ourselves from the class and saying no to extreme fees.

DirecTV: Guilty until proven innocent

In an interview with Wired DirecTV's Larry Rissler tells the magazine "There's a legal presumption that the purchase of the device implies use, and the burden switches to the defendant to show that it was used in a legitimate manner. We're talking about products that came into existence because of the satellite piracy industry."

He goes on to explain that they determine by where you buy the card from if they should persecute (they would call it prosecution) you. Corporate oligarchies reign supreme.

Robots.txt vs. FOIA

Scripting News:Kicking Ass, the DNC weblog, on robots.txt disabling of caches on White House pages about Iraq. Interesting point. Now would be an appopriate[sic] time to ask the Democrats if they will have a different policy should a Democrat be elected to the White House in 2004.

It is also the time to take a look at how robots.txt should be used on government sites. Should web crawlers respect robots.txt files on government sites? The information is covered by the Freedom of Information Act. Perhaps bloggers should make requests for the earlier copies of the documents before the pages were changed.

By contrast the Colorado State robots.txt file has some comments in it about why each directory is eliminated.

Should robots respect robots.txt files on government servers?

Some scary reading

It is nearing both Haloween and Election day so I've been doing some scary reading. The folks over at Black Box Voting have a pretty scary chronicle of problems with electronic voting and vote reporting systems.